Terrific, closely contested ties made for a night of top entertainment in the Mansfield Table Tennis League’s Shippam Cup quarter-finals.
The format of the competition is 18 games to 21 with every single point counting and a handicap applied to find the winning teams.
In two of the four exciting ties, the teams could be separated by only two points and four points respectively, which underlined the competitive nature of the action.
One of the tightest matches was between Ravenshead Riots and River Maun. Riots won 385-179, but when the handicap of 202 was applied, their victory margin was reduced to just four. They now move into the semi-finals, where they will meet unbeaten First Division leaders Zygabyte A in a repeat of their clash at the same stage of the Shippam Cup this time last year.
Zygabyte A, the current cup holders and three-time winners, were also involved in a thrilling quarter-final when tackling Boothys A. They triumphed 395-185, but when the 208-point handicap was brought into play, they scraped through by just two points.
In the two other ties, Hucknall 50-Plus Club overcame Snipers of St Joseph’s in another close battle. Snipers had an 18-point handicap, but the Hucknall team, inspired by captain Dick Johnson, who played some fantastic table tennis, roared home by 33 points. The final score was reduced to 363-348 after the handicap had been applied.
Hucknall 50-Plus will now face Spin Doctors in an all-Second Division semi-final after they benefited greatly from their handicap against Ravenshead Angels. Spin Doctors actually lost the tie 347-304, but a handicap difference of 82 handed them a 394-355 victory by 39 points. The win was a huge tonic for them because while they languish at the bottom of the Division Two table, Angels are top.
The two semi-finals are scheduled to take place during the week commencing Monday, April 4. Next week is week five of the Divisional Cup. The league schedule resumes on Monday, February 15 when Zygabyte A continue their charge towards the First Division title with a home match against Ravenshead Riots. On the same night, Ravenshead Rhinos take on Jacksdale C before Jacksdale A play Boothys on Tuesday, February 16, and Zygabyte B host Jacksdale B non Thursday, February 18.